Trail Mavens Guide | Anderson Valley and Mendocino
When most people hear 'California wine country,' they think Napa or Sonoma. Those two are nice and all, but we'll take the Anderson Valley's wine growing region anytime: it's unpretentious, grows some of the greatest white wine and Pinot Noir in America, and sits nestled among towering redwood trees, only 15 miles away from Mendocino's rugged coastline. In short, it's our favorite place in California.
We just led our second annual trip to the area, and it seduced us all once again. We knew it was going to be a great weekend, but who could have expected the swimming hole would be perfect in a drought year, or that we'd be taken on an impromptu tour of an apple farm and visit baby goats? We'll let pictures speak for themselves, but here are the spots/to-dos that aren't to be missed in the area:
Hendy Woods State Park: An absolute gem. Every campsite is spacious and flat, the bathrooms are clean, and hot showers are only $1 in quarters (though we recommend forgoing showers to save water and jumping in the Navarro River). Slightly pricier than most state parks at $45/night. Plan at least six months ahead for summer reservations.
The Philo Apple Farm: Delicious juices, ciders, and jams available at an honor-system outdoor store. The DIY walking tour hanging on the wall leads you through their heirloom tree orchard, through the gardens, and by the goats.
Navarro Vineyards: Bring a picnic, your wallet, and a designated driver when you visit. They have several lovely shaded picnic area overlooking the property. You'll want to buy all the wines you taste (hence the wallet), and you can sample 15 wines on their free tasting menu (hence the designated driver).
Kayak Mendocino: We're not usually fans of organized tours, but KM's sea kayaking cave exploration is stunning. Book in advance.
Moody's Organic Coffee: THE place to grab a cup of joe or oat-milk chai latte when you're in downtown Mendocino.